Friday, April 25, 2008

Top 100 Public Intellectuals

 
The Foreign Policy website has a list of the top 100 public intellectuals from around the world [The Top 100 Public Intellectuals: Bios].

The Canadians are: Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Ignatieff, Steven Pinker, and Charles Taylor. I would have included Irshad Manji, Bob Rae, and Don Cherry.

I included Don Cherry because he would fit right in with David Petraeus who is listed as a top 100 public intellectual.

There are several scientists and people who write about science and religion: Pope Benedict XVI, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Jared Diamond, Christopher Hitchens, James Lovelock, Lee Smolin, Harold Varmus, J. Craig Venter, E.O. Wilson. It's interesting that Francis Collins and Ken Miller aren't on the list since the main criterion for inclusion seems to be that the person has written a book and they have Miller & Collins have both written books.

I would have included Richard Lewontin, Bruce Alberts, and David Suzuki. Are there any others who should be on the list? Who should be deleted to make room?


[Hat Tip: Sean at Cosmic Variance]

7 comments:

  1. Bayesian Bouffant, FCDFriday, April 25, 2008 4:11:00 PM

    James Randi, another Canadian-born US citizen.

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  2. Did they run a parallel list of sycophants, and confused the lists since they included David Petraeus?

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  3. Amir Attaran.

    I don't know if he actually deserves to be on the list. But I didn't even recognize too many people on it in the first place.

    I did know about Lomborg and Friedman and Krugman. I don't think they deserve to be on the list. I'm sure they are very smart, and appear often in public, but they do not do enough actual respected science or management to back up their voices. Certainly Attaran does much research, and often voices a very thoughtful and forceful opinion to a mass audience.

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    Making a Canadian list would be fun.

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  4. Don Cherry AND his dog Blue clearly top David Petraeus on the list of 100 intellectuals...

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  5. An odd list, indeed. I wonder at the compulsion that drives people to create such lists. Did they come up with a much larger number of names, like 1000, then trim? Should the person who ended up ranked 101 feel insulted?

    Plus, I think there is at least one error in the list: Lee Smolin is listed as "United States", but I think he currently lives and works in Waterloo, Ontario. I could easily be wrong. If we do think his status should be changed to include Canada (as well as the USA), we should probably add USA to Niall Ferguson's, since he's at least part-time a professor at Stanford.

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  6. crf wrote:
    "I did know about Lomborg and Friedman and Krugman. I don't think they deserve to be on the list. I'm sure they are very smart, and appear often in public, but they do not do enough actual respected science or management to back up their voice"

    I'm mortified about my ignorance.

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